MANILA, Philippines – Following a tip over the illegal repacking of rice from the National Food Authority (NFA), police searched a warehouse in Muntinlupa City on Sunday, July 6.
Operatives of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) found around 15,000 sacks of NFA rice, according to a GMA News report.
Officials suspected the rice will be repacked or mixed with commercial rice to be sold at higher prices in the market.
Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization Kiko Pangilinan also inspected the rice stock at the Muntinlupa warehouse.
The search came following Thursday’s raid of a warehouse in Bulacan, where authorities confiscated more than 5,000 sacks of NFA rice being repacked as commercial rice.
Officials earlier said the repacked NFA rice sold in Bulacan province could have come from Pampanga.
In a press briefing on Sunday, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said 3 of the 12 warehouses searched by the PNP-CIDG were found to have lacked documents to operate as rice traders.
Coloma added the government’s drive to crack down on hoarders is expected to improve the rice supply situation.
“These recent raids prove the suspicion that there really are unscrupulous individuals who break the law against hoarding and price manipulation,” he said.
“And now that the government has found concrete evidence against their activities, we expect the rice supply in the market to stabilize,” Coloma added. – Rappler.com